As many of our readers know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration takes safety complaints very seriously and often does a thorough investigation in order to make sure that employers are following the safety guidelines handed down by the agency. But as many of our Texas readers also know, with changing policies and a lack of communication, an employer may accidently violate these regulations without meaning to. In the end, this can cost them thousands of dollars in fines and a tarnished reputation in the eyes of OSHA as well.
This may have been the case for Stamford-based Gem Drilling Co. Inc. when investigators from OSHA's El Paso office took a look at their Texas facility back in November of last year. According to the inspection report, which was released earlier this month, investigators uncovered what they claim were 19 safety violations. OSHA is now giving the company 15 business days to either remedy the alleged safety hazards or contest the citations and penalties currently before them.
Among some of the violations OSHA claims Gem Drilling committed were failing to provide guardrails on worker platforms and failing to comply with safety requirements for electrical components and equipment. The OSHA report explains that these violations are a serious danger to workers because they put workers at risk of death or serious physical harm.
It’s possible that Gem Drilling did not know that they were breaking safety regulations until after the investigation had been completed. Though this may be the case, they could still be held accountable for complying with the changes OSHA has requested. Failing to do so could lead to serious litigation this company may not want to face later on.
Source: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Gem Drilling Co. Inc. cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for 19 violations at its Sagerton, Texas, work site; fines total $46,900,” News Release, Feb. 4, 2014